Michael Brockers DT, LSU. 6'6" 322 lbs.
Brockers is a monster of a man. at six foot six, 322 pounds He has physical skills that are unrivaled by any other defensive tackle in the draft. The Ravens do not have an immediate need at defensive tackle but they could certainly use depth at the position after losing Brandon McKinney to Indianapolis. Brockers would be a major upgrade over McKinney. Even though McKinney did play very well for the Ravens, there is now way he could match the pure athleticism of the LSU standout.
He signed on with LSU as a 250-pound freshman defensive end in 2009 and, in just three seasons with the program, grew into a 300 pound monster. In 2010 he saw action in all 13 games with only one start. It was not until 2011 that he really came on as a dominant player.
Brockers started off his 2011 campaign with a bang by tying his career high with five tackles in a highly anticipated season opening match-up against the Oregon Ducks. Brockers seemed to play at his best in big games, recording four tackles (including three for loss) and a sack against Mississippi State, three tackles and a tackle for loss against Florida, five tackles against Arkansas, six tackles in the SEC Championship Game against Georgia, including two for loss, as well as a forced fumble and a pass broken up. Finally, Brockers recorded a combined 11 tackles in his two games versus Alabama, including a career-high seven stops in the BCS Championship game. Brockers also recorded a tackle for loss and blocked an Alabama field goal in the early second quarter that kept the Crimson Tide's lead at just 3-0. For the year he recorded 54 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss and two sacks. He was named to the Second Team All-SEC squad.-Rob Rang CBS sports
Although the Ravens are set with their starters on the inside of the defensive line, the positions behind them are up for grabs. Also, with Brockers size and agility, he could be used on the outside as a defensive end if the Ravens really wanted to beef up their line to stop the run.
You never know how the draft is going to shake out or who the Ravens have ranked on their big board and where that player may be ranked. Brockers has been projected to be a late first to early second round pick. He could easily be the best player available when Baltimore picks at 29. He could be one of the best players available in the draft period.
With his abilities on the field he could easily be a top 5 pick in any draft. The fact is, just like any other player in any other draft, there are always reasons that scouts and draft pundits will find to show why a players skills will not translate to the NFL. In Brockers case, he only has one season of dominant play, was surrounded by a great deal of talent and experienced his success on a defense that helped Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson earn top five grades, that frankly neither has played up to at this point. The fact that other players from his school and position have not panned out as expected has hurt his draft stock. This could be great news for the Ravens or whoever he falls to.
Below is draft analysis on Michael Brockers from Rob Rang at cbssport.com.
Pass rush: Only registered two sacks in 2011 but appears to have blossoming natural pass rush skills. Good initial quickness off the snap and flashes an explosive burst to split gaps. Surprising use of leverage for a player of his height. Good arm length and strength to keep his opponents' hands off his chest. Good bull rusher due to his use of leverage and good leg drive. Good quick arm-over swim move, which is made especially effective due to his long arms. Stymied at the line of scrimmage by chop blocks early in the season (Oregon) but improved his awareness and balance as the year went on. Good lateral agility and an explosive burst to close when the quarterback is near. Good awareness to get his hands in the air. Knocked down three passes in 2011 including making a diving interception against Northwestern State.
Run defense: Again, shows surprising bend and power to win the leverage battle despite his height. Used as part of a rotation and loses his effectiveness when his pad level rises as he tires. Good upper body strength to stack and shed. Lacks the anchor to hold up to double teams, but shows good quickness and aggression to seize the gap and works hard to split it. Pursues well when he has a lane to do so. Can get tied up inside and lose track of the ball. Good effort. Gets up quickly when knocked to the ground and gives his all to the whistle.
Explosion: Flashes enough quickness off the snap to threaten gaps at three-technique, especially when slanting. Heavy hands, good lower body strength and the ability to roll his hips into his opponent to drive them backwards on the bull rush. Arrives with a thud as a tackler.
Strength: Still growing but shows very good strength to hold up as an interior run defender when he maintains his proper pad level. Long, strong arms for the take-down tackle despite being engaged with a blocker.
Tackling: A forceful hitter who brings his hips to explode into the ball-carrier. "Only" forced one fumble in 2011 but did the same in 2010 despite considerably less playing time. Appears to have the athleticism and closing speed to improve in this area with more experience. Generally a good wrap-up tackler who brings ball-carriers to the ground quickly and securely. Good effort laterally and down field in pursuit.
Intangibles: Given a late first to early second round grade by the NFL Advisory Committee. Lined up as a three technique, on the nose (zero technique) and outside at defensive end (five technique) for LSU in 2011. Has had no known off-field or injury issues while at LSU. Though Brockers' 2011 season seemingly came out of nowhere, head coach Les Miles predicted it heading into the 2010 season characterizing Brockers as "becoming a bear to handle inside."